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Webinar : Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis

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The COVID-19 pandemic is forcing development programmes to rapidly readjust their advocacy strategy to support local or national governments in their emergency planning. The Watershed empowering citizens programme organised a webinar attended by over 60 participants on 15 April 2020, to discuss and learn about: ways to adapt advocacy approaches in time of COVID-19; practical examples of shifting activities at national and local levels; ways to reach your target audience while social distancing; ways to adapt your messaging, keeping Watershed priorities through the lens of COVID-19.

This report includes the webinar Powerpoint presentations and some recommendations based on the Q&A session. The titles and authors of the presentations are: "Why is strong advocacy essential during a crisis?" by Evita Rosenberg (IRC); "Watershed Bangladesh : adapting advocacy approaches during COVID 19 outbreak" by Ranjan Kumar Ghose (WaterAid Bangladesh); and "Adapting advocacy approaches in Kenya "by Patrick Mwanzia (Simavi Kenya).

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Webinar : Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis

  1. 1. WEBINAR: ADAPTING YOUR ADVOCACY TO COVID-19 HEALTH CRISIS BY ELYNN WALTER AND EVITA ROZENBERG IRC, LEARNING TRAJECTORY ON ADVOCACY
  2. 2. Welcome and introduction Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Creating a successful webinar experience: • Mute yourself and turn off webcam, except when speaking • If you have a question, write it in the chat box or wait until the Q&A and open discussion • Actively participate to discussions – every experience is unique and equally important! Please write your name, organization and country in the chat box
  3. 3. Welcome and introduction Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Objectives of the webinar To discuss and learn: • ways to adapt advocacy approaches in time of COVID-19 • practical examples of shifting activities at national and local levels • ways to reach your target audience while social distancing • ways to adapt your messaging, keeping Watershed priorities through the lens of COVID-19
  4. 4. Welcome and introduction Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Webinaroutline Presentations • Setting the scene – Evita Rozenberg (IRC) • Experience from Bangladesh – Ranjan Kumar Ghose (WaterAid Bangladesh) • Experience from Kenya– Patrick Mwanzia (Simavi Kenya) Q&A and discussion
  5. 5. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Why is strong advocacy essential during a crisis? Watershed Policy Influencing Learning Trajectory Evita Rozenberg (IRC)
  6. 6. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Definitions Advocacy.Wide range of activities that are conducted to influence decision- makers at different levels to combat the structural causes of poverty and injustice. Tactics. Means to achieve advocacy goal and objectives such as lobbying, campaigns, policy papers, reports, manifests, etc. Advocacyapproaches/ tactics of civil society can be to 1. organise and mobilise constituencies, 2. raise awareness, 3. shape public opinion, and 4. engage with decision-makers to influence key policies. Advocacystrategy. A document supported by a process to identify advocacy goals, objectives, activities and messages to address policy and budget problems. Setting the scene
  7. 7. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Direct effects/ challenges of COVID-19 on advocacy 1. Pre-pandemic messaging may no longer be appropriate and/or appear insensitive. 2. A shift in political focus to deal with the crisis may not align with your original advocacy objectives. 3. NGOs and CSOs are facing physical restrictions which make lobby, advocacy or other awareness-raising activities challenging. 4. In places where there are less restrictions on movement (ex: rural areas), individuals delivering key hygiene messages can be in danger of contracting COVID-19 5. High-level decision-making is happening quickly and often without consultation of civil society, understandable in a pandemic but can have consequences for marginalised populations. Setting the scene
  8. 8. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Opportunityfor advocacywith COVID-19 Setting the scene • WASH integral part of health response and first line of defense, • Use momentum or ‘policy window’ • Be opportunistic!
  9. 9. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy 1 Promotionof accurateinformation andawareness-raising for good WASHpractices among citizens, governments officials andall other stakeholders. Roles of civil society and NGOs during COVID-19
  10. 10. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy 2 Advising andholding national andlocal governments accountable on policies andlegislationby using available accountability mechanisms. Roles of civil society and NGOs during COVID-19
  11. 11. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy 3 Supporting andseeking partnerships with other CSOs, NGOs and media inholding governments accountable. Roles of civil society and NGOs during COVID-19
  12. 12. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy 4 Ensuring no one is left behindandlong-term systemic solutions are inplace for the most marginalizedin emergencyresponse. Roles of civil society and NGOs during COVID-19
  13. 13. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Adaptingadvocacy approaches in Bangladesh Ranjan Kumar Ghose (WaterAid Bangladesh)
  14. 14. Ranjan Kumar Ghose, WaterAid Bangladesh 15 April 2020 Watershed Bangladesh Adapting Advocacy Approaches during COVID 19 Outbreak
  15. 15. The first positive case identified on 8 March 2020. Till then, as of today, 15 April 2020 - total positive cases – 1231 - total death – 50 - total test conducted – 14,868 • Govt declared public holiday, close of offices, public transports up to 25 April 2020 • Community level transmissionstarted -total 27 districts been now lockdown
  16. 16. 16 Increasing trend of COVID19 positivecases As per IEDCR, as of today, 15 April 2020 - total positive cases – 1231 - total death – 50 - total test conducted – 14,868
  17. 17. 17 Key focus on promoting handwashing practice • HW practice, steps, critical time • Do’s and Don’ts (Details) • Personal and work place safety (Details) • What to know and • What to share (Details)
  18. 18. 19 Actions for Adapting Advocacy Approaches during COVID 19 Outbreak • Internal discussion at WaterAid level (Corocan Action Committee – CAC and Coronal Response Committee - CRC formed) • Discussion among in-country parthers (DORP, WaterAid), Key actors and WASH Networks and in-depth analysis of the Covid-19 crisis and future implication of the crisis • Urgent call among Watershed consortium (Simavi, IRC, Akvo, WISA, GWA-B,DORP and WaterAid) to adapt planned activities with existing situation • Advocacy update call with IRC (Elynn and Evita) and review status • Focus on online actions (i.e. Pro-poor strategy finalization work)
  19. 19. 20 Actions for Adapting Advocacy Approaches during COVID 19 Outbreak • Adapting advocacy actions focusing actions against COVID 19 response • At national level involve with different forumas one of the core members including WASH Cluster meetings, Unicef’s Need Assessment Working Group (NAWG) on conducting situation analysis on COVID19. • Regular basis updating of the progress
  20. 20. ▪ Directorate General of Health Services (DGHS) ▪ Institute of Epidemiology, Disease Control and Research (IEDCR) ▪ Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and Prevention ▪ Local Government Division (LGD) ▪ Policy Support Branch (PSB) ▪ Department of Public Health Engineering (DPHE) ▪ Water Supply & Sewerage Authority (WASA) ▪ Local Government Institutions (Union, Municipality, Upazila and District etc)
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  23. 23. Meeting with the Minister, Local Government Rural Developmentand Cooperatives (LGRD&C) and Mayorsand other key stakeholdersto decide how to coordinate interventionsat slums and low- income communities jointly Meeting with IEDCR Director, Prof. Flora at IEDCR DPHE Circularon Corona virus awareness and response
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  26. 26. Thank you! 27
  27. 27. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Adapting advocacy approaches in Kenya Patrick Mwanzia (Simavi Kenya)
  28. 28. Watershed Kenya Programme Adapting Kenya L&A Work during COVID – 19 Period Patrick Mwanzia, WP 2 Programme Lead (Simavi)
  29. 29. COVID – 19 Pandemic in Kenya Highlights of CoronaVirus Disease 2019 (COVID- 19) in Kenya – First case confirmed on 13/03/2020 – Confirmed cases 216; Deceased 09 and recovered 41 – Total contacts monitored 2,331 – Total discharged 1,729 – Total being followed 602 – 19/47 County regions affected (Watershed focus areas included) – Curfew 7.00 pm to 5.00 am daily countrywide – Entry to /fro Nairobi, Mombasa, Kilifi & Kwale Counties forbidden Source: Kenya Ministry of Health (http://www.health.go.ke/home/);
  30. 30. Adapting L&AWork in Kenya Adaptations in response to strict national gov’t COVID – 19 preventive measures countrywide. 1.Wottazela interactive live radio shows (April – June 2020) - Focus entire Kajiado County - Citizens free SMS feedback targeted in 4 poll questions - Water access poll quiz aligned to COVID – 19 pandemic - Citizens views to be used as evidence in L&A messaging - 2 local radio stations engaged (Nosim FM and Bus Media) - Trac FM from Uganda providing technical support - Simavi coordinates the exercise with WP 2 partners
  31. 31. Adapting L&AWork in Kenya Cont’d 2. Use of online communication tools - Mobile Phone, Zoom,Whatsapp,Teleconferencing calls - Used for internal & external engagement sessions - Externalsessions with gov’t dep’ts and CSOs - Citizens’ Zoom forums targeted to raise their COVID – 19 issues affecting them with WASH lens among others - Watershed’s lobby messaging memorandumto gov’t next - Our firstTeleconference call failed – why?Tool Ltd users! - Still exploring other online Comms tools - e.g. Lifesize – up to 6 months & 25 pax free https://www.lifesize.com/
  32. 32. Adapting L&AWork in Kenya Cont’d 3.COVID – 19 CSOs Emergency ResponsiveVoice - Held CSOs & County Public Health dep’ts Zoom sessions on COVID – 19 impacts via Zoom calls. Assessing L&A issues - NIA now convenesWASH/WRM oriented CSOs lobby voice on COVID – 19 specifIc responsive issues in Kajiado (Human rights to water & sanitation, social inclusivity, vulnerable groups …..) - One CSO included at top Kajiado CountyCOVID - 19 EmergencyResponse Committee decision making floor - Watershed positioning similar approach in Laikipia
  33. 33. Adapting L&AWork in Kenya Cont’d 4. Kenya Public Health COVID – 19 Rules 2020 - Early April 2020, Watershed provided inputs to Civil Society Coalition Memorandum on Public Health Act (prevention, control and suppression of COVID-19) regulations, 2020. - Taking advantage of decision maker (Attorney General Office) call for inputs on COVID - 19 crisis to formulate the rules. 5. Watershed Mesaging response to COVID – 19 - Programme been assessing County emergency response plans - Follow up with appropriate lobby messaging esp on human right to water access, vulnerable groups matters, info access for all …………
  34. 34. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Questions andAnswerson thePresentations
  35. 35. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Opendiscussionandbrainstorm: 1. How are you adapting your advocacy approaches in time of the pandemic (practical ways to shift activities and new/different approaches)? 2. How are you reaching your target audience while social distancing? 3. How are you adapting your messaging, keeping Watershed priorities through the lens of COVID-19? 4. Other questions that occur?
  36. 36. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Recommendations andconclusion Some of the recommendations… 1. Adaptadvocacy strategy byadjusting tactics and messaging, 2. Be opportunistic,reach out to government officials and organize online campaigns. For example on behavioural change (handwashing, social distancing, solidarity), 3. Monitor decision-making of government – is there a focus on leaving no one behind, 4. Ensure COVID-19 emergencyplanning includes a systemic WASHapproach and investments in handwashing in health facilities, 5. Ensure that existing WASH services are not discontinued (safe water that struggling utilities have the funds available to continue the services, 6. Ensure that WASH services reach the marginalized and rural areas, 7. Ensure ‘do no harm’ and social distancing in reaching most marginalized. 8. More…
  37. 37. Adapting your advocacy to COVID-19 health crisis Webinar by Learning Trajectory on advocacy Thankyoufor joining, stay healthyandtake care!

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